Many young men complain of getting tricked in an arranged marriage, where relationships fall apart within a year or so and they need to bear the brunt of gender biased laws, sometimes endlessly. However, the pain of separation for men who have been into a marriage for more than a decade with children, and then getting trapped in false cases is equally painful.
Here’s a story of a senior executive working with an MNC in Delhi who has been in and out of court battles since past decade.
Girish (Name Changed) is a well educated man who has been working in an MNC since the 90s. He got married to his wife, Rekha (Name Changed), in 1998. Both hailed from a traditional punjabi background and got acquainted through a matrimonial Ad in a newspaper.
Marriage took place after four months of courtship. The couple resided with husband’s parents only for 3-4 months and later shifted to their own apartment as a nuclear family. The two were blessed with a daughter in 1999 and lived a healthy and happy family life until 2011.
All through the years, Girish was doing exceptionally well in his career and the family travelled at several places, be it for holidays or pilgrimages.
After 13-Years Marriage
According to Girish, he yet does not know, why his wife suddenly started behaving very strangely after so many years of marriage.
On one given day, Rekha forced him to visit the market on pretext of getting some vegetables, which is when there was a physical attack on him. According to him, he had sustained several stitches on his head, his parents were running with him to the hospital, however, his wife and her family did not seem too hassled. However, after thinking over it, he did not pursue the matter legally.
Girish had shifted to another city for work on an assignment which is when Rekha lodged an alleged false police complaint against him. According to the husband, wife had also entirely emptied the joint bank locker a day prior to filing the complaint.
Girish got a call from the women’s cell that his wife had complained to the police, which left him completely shocked. He says,
I landed at the police station, they did not even give me the her copy of her complaint. It was very embarrassing for a senior executive like me to be treated like this.
Later, Rekha started giving suicide threats and this is what compelled Girish to stay out of his own home. He moved back to his parents place and after two months, wife withdrew her police complaint. According to the husband, she also sent him a ‘sorry’ message and asked him to return home on pretext of daughter missing him too much.
Incidentally, within these two months, Rekha allegedly forged documents of the house and transferred Girish’s property on her name. However, husband was not aware of this but continued living separately at his parents’ home.
One day, Girish’s father-in-law arrived at their home and dragged the man to the police station, despite no domestic relationship between the couple for nearly two years. He says,
It was 7am and I was arrested on charges of 498A filed by my wife. My mother and sister were also implicated falsely and I was sent to jail. We had to shell out lot of money to get lawyers who could bail us out from the false case. Subsequently, my mother and sister got anticipatory bail, however, I was lodged at Tihar jail for 9-days.Tihar is a lovely green place, I was ok to be inside, but my parents went through hell trying to bail me out. Pre arrest guidelines were completely violated. Later I was granted bail.
Return To Office After 498A Charge
When I returned to my office after coming out on bail in a matrimonial case, they asked me to first clear my name from criminal charges if I wished to continue in the job. However, considering my past conduct, I was retained as a consultant and was told that I could only join back once charges against me had been dropped.
After a tough fight, all charges against Girish, his mother and sister got dropped in 2015 and they are discharged by the court. He later files perjury case against his wife in the matter of property transfer case.
Wife Appeals Against Discharge & Files For Divorce
According to Girish, after falling flat on her false 498A case, Rekha appealed in the high court against their discharge. Parallely, she also filed a divorce case against Girish.
In the perjury matter, Rekha has allegedly contradicted her statements several times in front of the police. The high court had also issued notice to Rekha asking her to give her reply.
Amidst all these cases, Girish’s father passes away.
High Court Upholds 498A Appeal
After being discharged from 498A charges in 2015, the high court upheld Rekha’s appeal against the magistrate court order. The man and his family had to once again approach Supreme Court to get a stay on High court order.
Girish speaks about his experience at the Supreme Court. He says,
In other courts, if the judge changes, he will decide the next date. However, in Supreme Court, whenever you file a petition, the judge is fixed. All matters get consolidated under the same judge only. Next hearing dates are decided through computer on priority basis, and not individually by judge or any party. After our first hearing in SC in July 2019, we have not got any further date, also the delay being compounded due to COVID.
Girish expresses that since several cases were pending between him and his wife, he was not wanting to drag his daughter into the same. He quotes,
She is now an adult and when she was once called in the court, she was neutral towards both her parents. While she refused to take any money from me, she also did not want to continue any communication with me.We spent 4hrs at the family court meeting area in 2017. This was after I saw her last in 2011. I remember thanking the judge profusely that day for allowing me to meet with her, even if it was only for few hours.
My ex-wife is living in my apartment by forging papers on her name. I am happy to give her divorce but need to get my property and finances back, that she has siphoned away.She too wants the divorce to come through, however, she is unwilling to return my money.